Featured · Holidays · Projects · Tutorials

Easy Snowman Tote: 12 Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge

Snowman-Tote

Way back when it was still warm out and the sun didn’t set at 4:30, I was invited to participate in Sew McCool’s 12-Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge. I had big plans to finally finish the advent calendar I have been “going to make this year” for the past three Christmas seasons. This post is not about the advent calendar I made. Yet again, I didn’t get it made. Instead I did a cute craft with my kids. This was crazy easy, relatively inexpensive and turned out adorable. These would be so cute as teacher gifts, grandparents or even to use as gift bags.

For this project you will need:

  • Plain White tote bag. (I bought a blank one at a craft store but you can find about a bajillion tutorials on Pinterest if you would like to make your own.)
  • Scrap of Orange Felt or Fleece
  • Random Assortment of Black Buttons
  • Some sort of super strong adhesive. (or a sewing machine or needle and thread if you’d rather stitch the face on.)
  • Two Scraps of holiday fabric, cut about 2 inches x the width of the bag. Fleece would work well, I used woven cotton and pinking shears on the edges.
  • Small helpers (Optional.)

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I am not a kids-crafting blogger. Or a kids-crafting expert. Or even a regular kids-crafting participant. I tend to lock myself away for my crafting and sewing projects, it is my time away from my kids. Lately, though, they have been begging to help, keep picking out fabric they want made into various things, and are becoming more curious about my sewing projects. This project is definitely one that requires close supervision due to the glue. You could use a regular child-safe glue stick and then stitch the items where the kids placed them, but I just let them arrange things then made them sit back and did the gluing myself. If your kids are older they might be OK but I definitely advise adult supervision with this project.

The first step was arranging the face. I let them try different arrangements, and they actually worked together to decide where the buttons should go and what direction the nose should point. There was some discussion that the snowman should have a mad face, but I convinced them that he should be happy.

 

Once they had the buttons and nose placed, I glued them down. The adhesive I bought said industrial strength, and should hold well without additional stitching, but if I were going to make several of these I might just stitch the buttons and nose on. The “scarf” was the last part and we just glued the ends of each side of the bag. Once it was dry I tied it in a knot in the middle.

 

And that’s it. Simple and cute. My total cost was under $6, and that included the glue, which you could easily do several bags with one tube. The kids loved making the face and asked if they could make another one.

 

Thank you to Deanna at SewMcCool for inviting me to participate and definitely check out all the other projects in the challenge.

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Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Featured · Holidays

Halloween Hack: Here Comes Santa Claus

I have a confession to make: I didn’t make my kids’ Halloween costumes this year. (Please don’t revoke my crafty mom card.) Both my boys spotted the Star Wars costumes at the Disney Store months ago and have never once wavered from their desire to be a Storm Trooper and Darth Vader. While I could probably have made them, the Disney Store ones are nice, have lots of detail, and I would have spent twice as much money and infinite frustration on creating them, so I feel OK about it. Plus they LOVE them, and they play dress up daily with a dozen clearance rack store-bought costumes so I know they will get used beyond Halloween.

While I didn’t make my own kids’ costumes,I did make a couple Halloween costumes for other kids, so I guess I can keep my crafty cred. I am thrilled to share these. The first is one of two Halloween Hack PDF Costumes and might be one of the most original requests I have had to date. A few months ago a college friend contacted me and said her 7-year-old daughter wanted to be Santa Claus for Halloween and could I make her an outfit she could wear for Halloween that could also be Christmas pajamas. Hmm, sure, why not? Then I spent a few months thinking about the logistics of such a request.

I decided on the Scientific Seamstress Bowling Shirt and Easy Fit Pants, both of which I have made dozens of times so I know the patterns well. I was able to make some adjustments and I love the way it all came together. The bowling shirt pattern is short sleeve, so to start, I lengthened the sleeves and added a cuff. I dug through my printed patterns to find one that was a similarly sized long sleeve and franken-patterned a sleeve by folding the long sleeve and taping them together in the middle. Very low-tech. Because it has a fleece cuff I didn’t have to make a sleeve placket. The main fabric of both the shirt and pants is solid red flannel, which should be soft and warm as pajamas later on. The trim is white fleece.

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In addition to elongating the sleeves, I also added a few inches to the length of the bowling shirt and extended the placket a few inches too.  In addition to the 4” I added in length, I also added a 4” band around the bottom before I added the placket. I just measured the finished length before I cut the fleece plackets. I skipped the interfacing that is normally in the placket so keep it soft and fluffy.

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The Easy Fit pants make awesome flannel PJ/Lounge pants, and I did them with the standard directions plus the cuff. It should add longevity to the pants since it can be unrolled for a few extra inches in length. The whole thing should be roomy enough to layer or stuff a pillow in for trick or treating, then cozy up around the tree come Christmas.

Since I live in Chicago and the little girl I made this for lives in Kansas City, a local friend kindly borrowed me her similarly-aged-but-slightly-smaller son who was willing to model. (Thanks, P!)

And just like that, Ho-Ho-Ho! I hope she absolutely loves being Jolly this Halloween. Check back tomorrow to see the other Halloween Hack costume. You won’t want to miss it!

Definitely check out all these other fun costumes on the blog tour, and make sure you enter the giveaway! I was not compensated for this post, I purchased both patterns and the opinions are my own.

Blog Tour!

Wednesday, October 1st: Rebekah Sews & Dog Under My Desk Thursday, October 2nd: Friends Stitched Together & Sew Pandi Friday, October 3rd: That’s What She Crafted & Everything Your Mama Made & More Monday, October 6th: Shawnta Sews & Handmade Boy Tuesday, October 7th: Muse of the Morning & Swoodson Says Wednesday, October 8th: Call Ajaire & Sew McCool Thursday, October 9th: Once Upon A Sewing Machine & imagine gnats Friday, October 10th: The Sewing Geek & Feather’s Flights Monday, October 13th: Get Your Crap Together & Needle and Ted Tuesday, October 14th: The Shaffer Sisters & The Inspired Wren Wednesday, October 15th: Pattern Revolution & Just Joshin

Scavenger Hunt!

Time to go trick or treating! Use the Rafflecopter below for a digital scavenger hunt. You’ll be looking at each blog’s posts for the month of September to find this icon: for a chance to win one of THREE awesome sewing prize packs! Three winners will be chosen randomly (and their form completion verified) and emailed within 3 days of the hunt’s closure. A big thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes! Pack 1 { $30 to The Ribbon Retreat +2 patterns from GYCT Designs + 1 pattern from Dog Under My Desk} Pack 2 {$30 to The Fabric Fairy + Kids Pattern Package from imagine gnats} Pack 3 {$30 to Fat Quarter Shop + 2 patterns from Everything Your Mama Made & More +Ramblin’ Raglan Mega Pattern Pack from Muse of the Morning} a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Etsy · Holidays

Decking the Halls with Custom Aprons

I am chipping away at a pretty long to-do list, happy to say these custom order Christmas Aprons shipped out yesterday. I love these little Gingerbread Men and Women, they will be so cute come Christmas Cookie time for all the littlest helpers. I added them to my Etsy Shop and will be accepting custom orders from now until the holiday ordering deadline in December. How fun would a Ginderbread House party be with all your kids’ playmates in custom aprons?

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Announcements · Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas?

Custom Christmas Pajamas by Just Joshin

I am taking preorders for Christmas Pajamas in the month of June. I realize it is just finally summer and some of us had snow less than two weeks ago. (Mother Nature clearly lost her mind!) I intend to enjoy this summer and warm weather, right after I plan what my kids will be wearing on Christmas morning. I offered these pajamas last year and got great feedback from customers. They are thick, soft, and so adorable! My boys enjoyed wearing them to the Santa train, a party at school and many many nights since Christmas. They are so cute in Christmas morning pictures, too! In addition to the kid’s PJs offered last year, sizes 6M to 12Y, they have added Adult sizes, Doll PJs, and Infant gowns for size 0-3M. Colors are Red/White, Green/White and Red/Green. Adult PJs are only available in the Red/Green combo. (Please see sizing charts below for both kids and adult sizing.)
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Prices (Includes custom embroidery/appliqué design of your choice.)

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(Order 4 or more sets and you will get the discount price for all 4 items.)

 
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  • Orders due by June 30, 2014
  • Deposit of 50% due at time of purchase via paypal. (You are free to pay the full amount and estimated shipping costs instead.)
  • Balance (and shipping) will be due November 1, 2014
  • You chose your design
  • Pajamas will be shipped to you by December 1, 2014 so you have time for Christmas card photos, visits with Santa, and all the fun December family activities.
Here are samples of last year’s pajamas, and this year’s offerings. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to place an order.
 
justjoshincreations at gmail dot com.

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These UNISEX pjs are made using premium 95% cotton and 5% spandex providing a soft comfortable feel that holds any decoration nicely. They are available in three different colors which are red with white, green with white and red with green. They are sold and priced as sets which include one top and one matching bottom

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Sizing Info:
The pjs are available in sizes 6M-12Y and a size chart is provided below with the exact specificationsOur Size Chart is measured in inchesThe length is for the length of the shirtThe waist is measured from hip to hipCompliant with all CPSC regulations for snug fitting sleepwear

Kids Pajama SizingUnisex Adult Pajama Sizing

Announcements

A Different Direction

I started my etsy shop almost a year ago, and at the end of June I shipped my 200th order! This started as a little project while my kids napped and has exceeded my wildest expectations. Most of the orders I get are for sibling sets, 2, 3 or more shirts that go together, so I am doing at least 100 shirts a month.  I am thrilled that so many people like what I am doing, it’s exciting and humbling.

The past six weeks, though,  I have been struggling with many challenges, and it is causing me to rethink my business. I have had an ongoing machine malfunction with my newer embroidery machine which has rendered it unusable since late May. I have been getting by using the smaller machine, but have had to turn down requests, spend countless hours troubleshooting and driving to and from the repair place. It has taken a toll on me physically, with daily migraines, and the stress from the demand and my inability to complete things as promised has been unpleasant for me and for my family. It is evident that if I cannot rely on this machine I use to create these embroidered shirts, I can’t run my business in a way fair to my customers. I am not writing this to air my grievances with the business who sold me the machine and has failed repeatedly to fix it,  there is plenty of that going on in my life as I am seeking a resolution. I want to be open and honest with myself and my customers. I can’t run the type of business I want mine to be, a business that exceeds expectations, delivers ahead of deadlines, and meets the demands of my products. I cannot do this with a sub-par machine, poor, unreliable service and hours of wasted productivity. Truthfully, I also cannot afford to replace the machine since it was already a huge investment and it’s not paying for itself packed up in a box. It is beyond frustrating.

Each embroidered shirt takes about an hour to complete. This does not include time spent marketing, creating and testing designs, packaging, shipping, etc. Now my kids are threatening to give up napping, which greatly reduces the hours I have to work. The newer machine was faster, when it was working, and I was able to get more done in a shorter period of time. Without a nap time break, I lose at least two hours of time I can work on my orders every day. Paying someone to watch my kids so I can work on Etsy orders would not make sense financially, since I would essentially be working to pay someone to watch my kids (which is why I quit my job to stay home in the first place)  I would have to charge $40 for a t-shirt.  My main job is to care for these two little boys who deserve a Mommy who can be there for them, not stressed about meeting the demands of my business and dragging them to and from a deplorable business who has failed time and again to provide me with a reliable machine. 

So what does this mean for Just-Joshin? I am cutting back, refocusing. I started this venture when I started making custom clothing for my boys to go to Disney World. We are planning a trip back again this year and I have a list of new outfits I want to make for them. I have been asked to make items for friends for their Disney trips this fall. I have a ton of fabric I bought at various times with grand plans and I would love to actually complete some of those ideas. I will still be taking custom orders, but they will be more limited. My Etsy shop has been thinned out significantly, and I am carving out a schedule for custom stuff. I will be taking orders through my website and Facebook, and will offer ready-to-ship items as I finish them. Right now I have two quilts in progress that have been in progress way too long, and those are a priority. In the next week or two I hope to have a storefront option added to my website, and a price list for custom items. 

If you have already ordered shirts, Christmas PJs, dresses or outfits for Disney World or a quilt, your project is on my schedule and will be done ASAP. If you are interested in any custom orders, please contact me. I will still be happy to do t-shirts for your special occasions too, but will be cutting back on paid advertising and marketing through etsy. I am going to rely on friends, family, repeat customers and word of mouth. If you have requests for the holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, let me know now. Look for a new product list and ready-to-ship items for girls and boys coming to my shop soon.

And always, thank you all for your support and for your business.

Jen

Announcements

Countdown to Christmas?

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Here in Chicago, it’s finally starting to warm up and feel like Summer, so it is the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas, right? I didn’t think so either until I saw these outrageously cute pajamas from my favorite blank-shirts supplier. They are available now for pre-sale and supply is limited. I can’t wait to whip up some custom Christmas PJs for my own boys. I love our holiday pictures of my boys in matching PJs and these are just too adorable.

As a first, I would like to offer pre-orders for Christmas Pajamas. I will be collecting a $12 deposit per pair, with the total due at the time of shipping in November. (That way you have time for Holiday pictures if you want to use them for your Christmas Cards!) Available in sizes 12M to 12, and in red or green unisex design.

Please look at the sizing chart to determine what size is best for your children. When making your deposit, specify what color/size you would like for each. I have tons of Christmas designs I will be happy to work with you to make sure your order is customized for your family. If you need more than 4 sets, I can send a custom invoice, please just let me know.

Deposit Option
One Set PJs $12.00 USD Two Sets PJs $24.00 USD Three Sets PJs $36.00 USD Four Sets PJs $48.00 USD
Notes (Color and Size)

Details:
$30 each or $50 for two. (Each additional set is $25.)
Can be customized with design of your choice, names added for no additional charge.
$12 each deposit due by June 21 to guarantee order for Christmas. Balance (Plus shipping if required) Due November 1, 2013.

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I mean, how cute would these PJs be in a twin set with this Naughty/Nice design?

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Announcements · Etsy · Projects

New Stuff in the Etsy Shop

Here are just a few examples of new designs I have added to my shop recently. I have had a lot of fun creating new designs and even more fun seeing them modeled by a ton of cuties. More in the pipeline, so stay tuned. Big thanks to all the families who let me borrow these adorable little models and to Loch and Key Photography for the amazing photos of all these cuties.

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Charlie and Ryder  4

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